Suicide not a workplace injury, rules tribunal

On Sunday, January 23, 2005, Detective Sergeant Denis Matteau told his wife that he had to go to the office, even though it was his day off, to prepare his testimony for a high-profile murder trial involving Michel Usereau, a former police officer turned private security firm director accused of shooting a business competitor.

Matteau, who forged over the course of a career spanning more than twenty years a reputation as a perfectionist, led the investigation in the Usereau case. It was a case that “perturbed” him. In the weeks that preceded the trial, Matteau’s manner had changed. He closed up, and concentrated on the Usereau case, day, night and weekends. He avoided family gatherings, no longer worked out, and barely slept. Continue reading “Suicide not a workplace injury, rules tribunal”

Alimony rights for common-law spouses at stake in wealthy couple’s battle

A legal battle pitting a Brazilian aspiring model against a wealthy Montreal businessman may have all the ingredients of a riveting soap opera but at stake lies a constitutional challenge that strikes at the heart over the financial duties of common-law partners in Quebec.

The 35-year-old woman, who mothered three of the man’s children, is challenging the law that mandates spousal payments for couples who only have been legally married. Before Quebec Superior Court, she is seeking $56,000 in alimony and a share of his wealth. The identities of the protagonists are protected by the court, as is the case in Quebec when family law cases involve children.

“I want to help women who are in the same situation,” said the woman said outside the courtroom, adding she had assumed she had the same rights as women who are legally married. “Not many people know about the law.”

According to Statistics Canada, 35 per cent of couples in Quebec are unmarried, and 60 per cent of children are born out of wedlock. In the rest of Canada only 18 per cent of couples live together.

Continue reading “Alimony rights for common-law spouses at stake in wealthy couple’s battle”